Meeting/Event Information

NCBTA 2018 Tech Day & Evening Carolina Hurricane's Game

February 01, 2018
8:00 AM to 10:00 PM
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Hilton Garden Inn Raleigh-Cary
131 Columbus Avenue
Cary, NC 27518
Venue Website

A Day of Learning Focused on
Today's Emerging Travel Technology
Followed by an evening of Networking at the Carolina Hurricanes Game

Earn 5 GTP Recertification Credits for Attending


8am-9am                   Breakfast

9am-9:15am              Welcome and speaker intro New Board recognition

9:15am-10:45am       Johnny Thorsen – The Tech Guru

10:45-11am               Break

11am – 12:00pm        Valerie Layman – Yapta

12:00pm-1:00pm        Lunch

1:00pm-2:00pm          Chris Llorente with Concur – “Hipmunk”

2pm-2:30pm               John Berkley with TripBam

2:30pm-3:30pm          Panel Discussion led by Johnny – “Travel Disruptors challenging the status quo”

and on the panel we will have:





-Travel Manager

3:30pm-4pm            NCBTA WRAP/ Future event announcements

6pm                         Join NCBTA Networking at the Carolinas Hurricanes Hockey Game



 Keynote Speaker: Johnny Thorsen


Mr. Johnny Thorsen has been Vice President of Travel Strategy and Partnerships at Mezi since May 15th, 2017. Mr. Thorsen Co-Founded conTgo limited and served as its Chief Strategy Officer & Chief Executive Officer. He served as Senior Director at SAP Mobile Services. Mr. Thorsen is a passionate innovator and enjoys disrupting the status quo. He served as Senior Director of Strategy and Product Marketing for Concur Risk Messaging, regularly speaking with industry leaders about duty of care for corporate travel as well as Concur Risk Messaging’s future product roadmap. Since the launch of the Mobile Travel Assistant in 2007 he has been at the forefront of the mobile travel technology revolution and the development of solutions that add value to travellers whilst they are travelling. He has 20 years of travel technology experience gained working with Travelport, GetThere and HRG combined with his strategic vision have enabled him to identify trends and opportunities in their infancy. As the driving force behind conTgo’s rapid innovation and product development, he was named as one of the “25 Most Influential Executives of 2010” by Business Travel News. Mr. Thorsen has held international assignments in Asia-Pacific, the UK and Scandinavia.




Valerie Layman, Yapta Chief Product & Services Officer

Valerie brings over 20 years of experience developing and executing product and software strategies to help companies manage and grow their business in both the emerging and Fortune 500 markets. Valerie has spent over 8 years focused specifically in the emerging online travel technology space. Prior to leading Yapta’s product management and client management teams, Valerie served as Director of Product Management at Orbitz’ corporate travel division, leading the efforts to bring a consumer product into the managed corporate travel market.  While at Orbitz, Valerie was also responsible for the delivery of Orbitz’ key strategic differentiator, direct-connects to airline suppliers. Prior to her work at Orbitz, Valerie spent 9 years as a process and delivery consultant for Accenture, leading strategy and solution planning initiatives as well as managing complex application development efforts. Valerie has a BS in Marketing and an MBA from Kansas State University.


Chris Llorente, Sr. Director of Business Development at SAP Concur

Chris Llorente is the Sr. Director of Business Development at SAP Concur. He is responsible for the Solutions Providers channel which focuses on bridging technology gaps for customers and partners. During his 6 year tenure at SAP Concur, he has held several positions including sales, partner business manager and various leadership roles.  Prior to joining SAP Concur, Chris spent seven years at World Travel Service – a leading travel management company in the U.S. Chris resides in North Carolina and is married with two children.


John Berkley Director of Business Development, TRIPBAM

John Berkley is the Director of Business Development for TRIPBAM. Before joining TRIPBAM, John served for 10 years as the Vice President & General Manager, U.S. Middle Market for American Express Global Business Travel. In this role, John led the U.S. market segment that served over 4000 companies with annual aggregate travel spend of over $4 billion. In his 25-year career with American Express, John held multiple leadership roles in marketing, supplier relations, and operations. 

John lives in Evanston Illinois, just north of Chicago, IL.




Kip Damrow
Regional Director of Sales & Marketing – Parks Hospitality Group

Kip has nearly 20 years of building, mentoring and developing revenue-generating sales teams. Former Hilton Garden Inn Director of Sales of the Year; Multi-year Hilton Garden Inn SE Regional Director of Sales of the Year;  Hilton Garden Inn Sales Success Award winner; North Carolina Coast Host Hospitality Person of the Year, for the Southern Region! 

Kip served (3) terms as President of the Wilmington Area Hospitality Association; Member of the Hilton Garden Inn DOS Advisory Council. 

Currently oversees (2) active properties in the Raleigh/Durham Market, *The Hilton Garden Inn Raleigh-Cary*, *The DoubleTree by Hilton Raleigh-Cary*; and overseeing pre-sales for the soon-to-open, *Homewood Suites by Hilton Raleigh Cary I-40* & *Tru by Hilton RDU*, which will be the 1st Tru by Hilton in the State.





Silver Event Sponsor: Yapta

AV Sponsor: Hilton Garden Inn

Book your room $129 per night for the 2018 Technology Day in Raleigh, NC. Click Here


Group Name:

NCBTA Tech Day- February

Group Code:






Hotel Name:

Hilton Garden Inn Raleigh-Cary

Hotel Address:

131 Columbus Avenue


Cary, North Carolina



Phone Number:



Networking at the Carolina Hurricanes Game to follow.

Network while watchinig North Carolina's own Hurricanes play hockey.  Food & drink(2 limit free drink tickets) available in our section of the Buffalo Brothers Zone. 



$55.00 Member Meeting Registration Only
$65.00 after 12:00 am January 29
$45.00 Earlybird rate before January 15

$75.00 NCBTA Non-Member or Guest Registration Meeting Only
$85.00 after 12:00 am January 29
$65.00 Earlybird rate before January 15

Future Meetings

NCBTA 2018 Gala-Casino Night w/ Education Breakfast

November 15, 2018 from 6:00 PM to 12:00 PM

Marriott Raleigh Triangle Park
4700 Guardian Dr
Durham, NC 27703
Venue Website

An Evening of Networking and Breakfast Education Session